hulu

If you've never really been happy at the fact you need a Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to access Hulu and Netflix on your Xbox there's a good chance that requirement could be gone soon. It's something that has been on the table for a while now but according to Arstechnica, multiple sources have now been briefed on the matter ahead of June's E3 expo.

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Previously bound to having a Hulu Plus subscription, Hulu this summer will be opening up their free streams to mobile users. As of right now, if you want to watch something that's streaming on Hulu on your mobile device, you'll need a Hulu Plus account — even if that show is free to stream through a desktop browser. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced today that this summer that will change.

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In 2014, if you are looking to watch television shows or movies, there are a plethora of different apps and services available to fulfill your need of entertainment consumption. We are going to look at what we currently consider the best TV and movie apps available in the Windows Store for Windows 8/RT devices. We will begin by noting that all of these application will work within the United States, but elsewhere your results will vary.

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For this weekend only, Xbox 360 owners will be able to access Hulu Plus for free through until Sunday, August 4th. If you're not familiar with the brand, the service enables you to watch TV and movies on consoles. If you're on your Xbox this weekend, you'll be able to enjoy unlimited instant streaming of top TV shows and movies on Xbox Live through Hulu Plus.

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Hulu Plus for Windows Phone 8 was updated today to version 1.1 and adds a little Kids Corner support into the mix. You can now add Hulu Plus to your Windows Phone Kid's Corner for instant access to ad free kids content.

When Hulu Plus is launched from the Kid's Corner all you're kids will have access to is the kid's section of Hulu Plus. It's a nice touch to prevent the younger kids from stumbling on more adult oriented viewing.

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No sooner than we posted our hands-on video did the link go live, which means you can go ahead and experience high quality video of your favorite shows, streamed to your phone yourself.

There’s not much else to say about the app except that you do need a premium account but in our opinion, it’s totally worth it (especially if you have an Xbox 360 and/or Windows 8 machine).

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Before you get your hands on the official Hulu Plus (www.hulu.com) app for Windows Phone 8, due later today, we figured we would show you how it all works.

While you do need a premium account for Hulu Plus (we’ve had one for years), we think if you’re a cord cutter, it’s a good deal even if you still have to watch an occasional ad.

As we said in our announcement post, it’s a solid app and when combined with the Xbox 360 app, Windows 8 version and now on Windows Phone, we’re pretty psyched to watch Psych on the go. We’ll of course publish the Store link as soon as it goes live. [Update: The app is now live in the Store]

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Looks like it’ll be a great day for Windows Phone 8 users as the official Hulu Plus app is forthcoming later today.

News of the app’s arrival was predicted by some recent murmurs of an imminent release and indeed, with the app having launched on Windows 8 six months ago, it only seemed liked a matter of time before they brought it over to mobile.

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It’s been two-years since Windows Phone has been on the scene and if there is one app we’re really yearning for (not looking at you, Instagram), it’s Hulu. The app has been available on Xbox 360 for sometime and we use it daily, so it’s with great joy we see it’s now available for Windows 8.

The RT app will run on Surface tablets and of course Pro devices. It’s very metro influenced and the Hulu team even tossed together a demo video of the service (it’s still not available yet in our Windows 8 Store). The app will come pre-loaded on Acer and Sony Windows 8 devices although anyone with Win 8 can just go and downloaded it to the store. Combined with the recently released Netflix app (also gorgeous) and Windows 8 will have some great media services out the gate.

But what we’re really wondering is of course when will the Windows Phone 8 app land? Hulu now has two of the three systems in place, so is it too much to expect them to release a phone version on October 29th? We sure hope not because boy will that be an odd omission. [Note: Embedded video is on Hulu, so you probably can't view it mobile]

Source: Hulu Blog; Thanks, Alan A., for the tip

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No Hulu for Microsoft?

A few weeks ago we reported that Microsoft was in serious talks with Hulu to purchase the company, which was put up for sale by it's parent media company owners.

Of course we were supportive of such a proposed purchase since it would guarantee more exclusive integration with PC, Xbox and Windows Phone, the latter of which has yet to see a native client. With the purchase of Skype under their belt, bringing Hulu into the fold would have been a great leg up on the competition.

However, according to Bloomberg, Microsoft has now dropped out of contention for the streaming TV site. No reason was given, though usually it has to do with perceived cost vs value. Yahoo!, ironically is reportedly ready to fork over $2 billion for the company, though it is expected that negotiations will continue for the next few weeks. Reportedly Microsoft has also not ruled out stepping back into talks later if terms become more favorable.

Microsoft has yet to publicly confirm the story, so it remains to be seen how this progresses, but as of right now it's not looking to good for our side.

Source: Bloomberg

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Microsoft to buy Hulu?

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Microsoft is one of several companies interested in buying online video giant Hulu.  Anonymous sources said that Google and Yahoo! have also met with Hulu reps in meetings arranged by Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners, their financial advisors.  The three potential suitors are eyeing the mass of popular shows that millions over viewers tune in to online, and the over 600 advertisers that have jumped on board with Hulu, including big players like McDonald's, Toyota and Johnson & Johnson. Of course, as these things go, none of the alleged parties are admitted anything.

Hulu's ownership has been struggling with the site's popularity, as they have attracted advertising revenue, but at the same time have caught serious flak from cable and satellite providers, who carry the same content.  They backed off from an earlier initial public offering that was projected to earn them a cool $2 billion, so it is thought that that may be what it would take for a sale to happen.  Netflix, who is seen as a similar kind of service, is valued at just about the same amount. 

Microsoft seems like a good fit, as they already offer access to Hulu Plus on XBox Live.  The acquisition would make further integration with XBL, and potentially WP7, that much easier and sweeter.  Their recent purchase of Skype is a clear sign that they are not afraid to throw around some cash to expand their multimedia capabilities. 

Source: Los Angeles Times; Via: SeattlePi

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Earlier today we mentioned that Bitbop was available for Windows Phone 7 in Beta form.  Similar to Hulu, Bitbop brings streaming television to your Windows Phone.  Shows are commercial free and can be downloaded to your phone or streamed.

Our first impressions of Bitbop are good.  The app has a polished feel to it, there's a decent selection of shows and movies to choose from and the menu system is nice.  The option to download episodes and movies is nice for those times you know you'll be in a poor reception area or without access to Wifi.

Bitbop has a free 60 day trial and a full subscription is running $9.99 a month.  You can find your copy of the Beta here at the Marketplace.  Keep in mind that this is a beta version and glitches may still be present.

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Okay you TV watching fanatics, while Hulu may have lost The Daily Show/Colbert Report recnetly, it looks like somehow they are now allowing the Skyfire browser to stream videos.

Or perhaps it is vice-versa, we'll probably never know. (See Skyfire's earlier explanation to the community).

Either way, if you load up the latest version of Skyfire and head to hulu.com, you can now stream your heart away. We just tried it ourselves and we can confirm 100% (see above screens shot).

So there, you folks happy yet?

Update: And thou taketh away. Looks like it was just an error on Hulu's part as mobile streaming, once again, is dead in the water. Such teases. Thanks to everyone for sending this in.

[Thanks Scott, via everythingWM]

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Hulu and Skyfire still aren't playing together, but at least the video streaming site and the Windows Mobile browser are now explaining why.

Says Skyfire:

Skyfire users have been wondering why Hulu videos are currently not playing in Skyfire. The answer is simple: Hulu has decided to block you from watching Hulu videos in the Skyfire browser, as part of blocking all mobile access to Hulu, as well as TV access such as with Boxee and PlayStation.

There is nothing wrong with your Skyfire browser, and you can watch other videos on the web.

As for Hulu? Well, Skyfire, that helpful bunch, points us to Hulu's reasoning.

For decades, the TV/movie industry has built its business model on a windowing strategy. Content rights are granted for limited time periods across specific distribution channels. For example, a movie starts in theaters, then moves to pay-per-view and DVD, then to pay-cable channels, later to broadcast, and so on down the line. Similarly, TV shows are available on TV first, then in repeats, then to DVD and possibly syndication, etc.

Distribution availability across platforms — theaters vs. TV vs. recorded media like DVDs vs. online streaming vs. mobile phones — was always implicitly or explicitly controlled in that world. But a few factors have made the barriers between those platforms more permeable: the rise of the web, increased broadband
availability, the ease of digitizing video, and the increase in the computing power of devices like gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile phones.

However, in the near-term, the windowing strategy is still dominant in the business. Billions of dollars flow in across these different windows, and entire companies are organized around them. Nothing productive comes from flouting that reality (except to law firms who work on the occasional lawsuit).

Hulu did say "We do, however, expect these windows to converge over time. There's no way around that." Translation: It'll happen; we just have to figure out a way to make more money off of it. (OK, there may well be other licensing issues, too, but that's hardly sexy, now is it?)

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While we were busy frantically trying to get Hulu videos to play, Skyfire went and updated the browser on us. Here's what's new in build 1.0.0.12113 for Windows Mobile:

  • Reduced Memory footprint.
  • History is presented in the proper order.
  • Cookies in the UK data center are handled more reliably.
  • Sharing links via SMS are handled more reliably.
  • Reconnect correctly loads the last page in history plus we’ve improved reliability.
  • Site specific issues have been resolved for Rooftopcommedy.com and thefind.com.
  • Zoom buttons behave properly and disappear after a couple of seconds.
  • Default browser setting works more consistently.
  • Text entry on Symbian has been improved with one caveat below.

Hit up m.skyfire.com to download the new build.
 

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Hulu blocking Skyfire browser

One of the great reasons for using the Skyfire browser is because it could load just about anything on the Web, thanks to its proxy nature. No more. Hulu.com has shut out Skyfire (and the PS3, as well, apparently). As you can see above, you're greeted with the following message when you try to view a video:

Unfortunately, this video is not available on your platform. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Inconvenience? INCONVENIENCE?!?!?!? How will we watch our stories?!?!?!? (I'm at least getting audio out of the Firefox mobile Alpha 2. Anyone have any luck with any other browsers? IE6 Mobile?)

The good news for PS3 users it that there's a workaround. For us Windows Mobile types? Not so much. Might that mean a true Hulu mobile client, alluded to many, many moons ago, is finally coming?

Via Engadget

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Hulu to Go Mobile? Yes Please.

We're not too proud to admit: we love hulu.com. Where else can you get Fantasy Island and Battlestar Galactica (the original and still the best!) and Kojak and Airwolf all for-free watching some ads? Well, right now, it's only at hulu and only on your desktop.

Take heart, fans of cop shows, for according to mocoNews we might be able to indulge our predilection for quality television on the go soon enough. Hulu CEO Jason Kilar hinted that they're working on it, saying

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